The press is beginning to report on the huge European opening box office figures for Steven Spielberg’s mo-cap adapatation of The Adventures of Tintin. The feature opened in many countries (including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.) this past weekend. Have any our readers seen it? How does it work as a film? How fluent in Hergé do you need to be to enjoy it? Is the mo-cap at the high level of Avatar – or sink to the Mars Needs Moms depths?
First off: In case you haven’t bought your tickets yet – the CTN Expo is two and a half weeks away. What are you waiting for? This is our “Comic Con” and it is going to sell out. Anyone who’s attended the previous CTN shows know that this event is the closest thing we have to an animation artist and creators convention in the United States – and its a helluva lot of fun. (That’s Peter De Seve above, addressing the appreciative crowd in 2009).
This year’s CTNX is set for November 18-20, and organizer Tina Price is planning bigger and better panels, seminars and exhibits. Like what? Like this:
On stage interviews with Oscar Grillo, Bill Plympton, Eric Goldberg, Andreas Deja, Florian Satzinger, and Carlos Grangel; Panels and special events including a “one on one” with French graphic novel artist Régis Loisel moderated by Christophe Lautrette (Dreamwoks); sneak preview of Aardman’s latest feature Arthur Christmas; a creature creators panel with Terryl Whitlatch, William Stout, Greg Baldwin and David Thomas Guertin; and a seminar on DIY Self Publishing with David Colman, Sean “Cheeks” Galloway and Stephen Silver.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s over 150 planned sessions, a sold-out exhibit floor, book signings, gallery shows, live demonstrations, sneak peak screenings, networking at night …and, of course, The Cartoon Brew Over-Flow Lounge (a place to hang in case you can’t get into your favorite panel – or just wanna grab a drink!). I’ll be there. I’ll be in the exhibit room. I’ll be moderating panels.
You’ve been warned… Register Now (Cartoon Brew discount code: CBREWX11). For even more info on the CTN Expo, click here. See you there.
Here’s a teaser for Laika’s next 3D stop-motion feature film, being directed by Sam Fell (Flushed Away, The Tale of Despereaux) and Chris Butler (storyboard supervisor, Coraline, Corpse Bride). Love the use of Donovan’s Season Of The Witch for this. ParaNorman will be released by Focus Features on August 17, 2012.
Dreamworks’ Puss In Boots (directed by Chris Miller) opens today and I really liked it. Michael O’Sullivan says it best in his review in The Washington Post: “Almost shockingly good. And not just because a lot of you will approach it with lowered expectations.”
It’s visually beautiful, the 3D is actually great and the story was fun and exciting. There is always something going on, every moment seems to be either a funny gag or an action sequence; the whole film mixes fantasy, adventure and humor in a very pleasing way. The only flaw is the carry-over of ugly human character design, already established in the Dreamworks’ Shrek universe. I’ll give them a pass on this, as the film is supposed to connect as a prequel to Shrek. All the new anthropomorphic characters, including Humpty Alexander Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, are terrific – and picture, on the whole, is absolutely worth a view.
What did you think? Here’s our talkback post and we welcome your point of view. (The comments thread is open only to those who have seen the film – all other comments will be deleted)
MTV revives its commitment to animation with the much ballyhooed revival of Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-head and the premiere of David Gordon Green’s Good Vibes.
Can Beavis survive in MTV’s post-Snooky universe? Does Good Vibes hold its own against the animated shows from Fox, Adult Swim and Comedy Central? It’s your turn to let everyone know what you think. (Please only post below if you’ve watched tonight’s shows – we will delete those who haven’t).
Jens Blank’s imaginative new film Don’t Swim After Lunch was created for a traveling art exhibition that started in London and went on to Shanghai and Beijing. Says Blank:
“It’s my take on daydreaming and changing everyday environments into something exciting. It was done over the stretch of 6 weeks grinding away in my room. Live action, Maya, AE, and pfTrack. You can find info on crew, concept art, behind the scenes on my webpage.“
Direction & Design – Jens Blank
Cinematography – David Liddell
Sound Design – Jussi Honka
Music – David Pringle
Additional animation – Bence Varga & Balogh Zsolt
2011 is not quite done, but that doesn’t stop the studios from promoting its upcoming 2012 fare. Here’s the clever one-sheet (and a new name) for Disney’s latest Studio Ghibli release, The Secret World Of Arriety.
The team at Dallas based Element X Creative animated this 5-minute long sponsor reel for last week’s Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) Southwest Awards show. If one has to sit through dozens of company logos, this is the way to go – weaving the sponsors names into a haunting and beautiful Twilight Zone-like story about a little boy who stops time and sees his home town in a whole new way. It stands on its own as one of the best CG shorts I’ve seen this year.
Creators of Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing, United Productions of America (UPA) was the most significant animation studio of the 1950s. Ushering in a whole new way of making cartoons, combining modern art with slapstick comedy, UPA challenged the way Disney made toons and dominated the Academy Awards during that decade. There’s no doubt of their inspiration on international and independent animators for decades to come.
Charles Solomon (who did a great job hosting the Mary Blair tribute last night at the Academy) recorded an audio editorial championing UPA that will run on L.A.’s public radio station KPCC (89.3 FM), Off Ramp, Saturday at noon and Sunday at 7pm. Solomon points out that a current local art show cooperative – Pacific Standard Time, which celebrates southern California’s contributions to pop culture – omits the UPA studio’s significant influence on art and animation. KPCC has just posted his piece online, in advance of its broadcast: Download or listen to stream here.
Meanwhile, I will be doing my part by mounting a tribute to UPA at my next Animation Tuesday screening, on Tuesday November 1st at 8pm. I will be introducing rare 35mm prints of the studio’s undeniable classics on the big screen – including their acclaimed adaptation Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart, Oscar winner When Magoo Flew (in wide screen CinemaScope), and rarely shown The Jaywalker, Willie The Kid and Fudget’s Budget and more – along with a selection of rare commercials, industrial films and TV films not seen in public for over 50 years. More info and tickets: click here.
AWESOME+modest, the small Brooklyn-based animation studio who did all the animation for Waiting For Superman, the new U2 doc From the Sky Down, and the animated music video for The Mountain Goats posted here a few months ago. Their latest music video is for the very talented Dan Wholey. Amateur Rocketry is probably NSFW: